IMAGE: Sergio Marín Gómez
Text: Agata Kotrys
What is coaching?
Coaching is a reflective and creative accompaniment process, which inspires to maximize personal and professional potential.
This is how it is defined by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the largest organization of professional coaches in the world. But what does this mean exactly?
We can look for the roots of coaching as far back as in the philosophy of ancient Greece. The Socratic method, which is the methodological basis of coaching, is based on the premise that we all have knowledge within ourselves. Socrates helped others learn by asking them questions and letting them find the answer for themselves. He said that there is no teaching, only learning.
In the modern era coaching has had its origin in sports. Timothy Gallwey, a Harvard pedagogue and captain of his tennis team, indicated that, given the equality of physical conditions, some of the players were more likely to win than others. So it was not just about physical preparation. His discoveries, which he later exposed in the book “The Inner Game of Tennis”, led him to affirm that “the opponent who is in one’s head is much more dangerous than the one on the other side of the net”. The new comprehensive training method that he developed, based on working on internal obstacles, such as fear, doubt, attention lapses, limitation of concepts or assumptions, has been shown to improve efficiency in various disciplines, such as golf, skiing. and even music. The model has subsequently been applied in the fields of business, health and education.
GROW for it!
GROW, is also the acronym for the most widespread model in coaching:
GOAL: refers to the goal of both the process and the session; the ideal situation that the person seeks. A well-defined objective, that is, concrete, achievable, as well as motivating, is the foundation on which growth is built. It is the starting point of any coaching process.
REALITY: is the current reality, the present situation. It is necessary to explore the starting point, to define the steps to be taken towards the objective.
OPTIONS: possible options and strategies to reach the goal. This phase is a kind of “brainstorming” – all ideas are worth it.
WHAT, WHEN WHO, WILL: phase, in which the action plan is developed. Learning is generated from action.
Beyond tools, such as the GROW model, powerful questions or many others, what is essential for a coach are skills such as listening, being present, working on emotions, questioning, creating awareness, cultivating self-confidence, generating responsibility and facilitating growth. The process of change in coaching, as it happens in therapy, is generated thanks to the relationship and interaction.
Consciousness and responsibility
The first key element that coaching works with is awareness, understood as knowing what is happening around us, understanding what we are experiencing and being able to define what is important to us. It is the result of observation with concentration, clarity and focus. Increasing awareness is one of the goals of coaching, and this in turn leads to skill development. The second concept is responsibility or, rather, self-responsibility. Since coaching assumes that the client has resources (or can get them), responsibility increases involvement in the process, leads to action, helps improve performance and finally achieve the objective that the client seeks.